About Enrollment in National Health Insurance in Japan


What is “National Health Insurance”?

All Japanese citizens are obliged to enroll in a public health insurance plan.
International students are required to enroll in “National Health Insurance.” This is operated by a city/ward/town/village. Each student is to take procedure to enroll in the insurance and pay the premium at the office of the city/ward/town/village where they reside.
If you are covered by National Health Insurance, you are only required to pay 30% of actually incurred medical expenses.

People who are eligible to National Health Insurance are as follows:

  • People who are not covered by any corporate health insurance;
  • People who do not receive social welfare benefits;
  • People who do not join any national health insurance society; and
  • People who are not covered by Elderly People Medical Program.

About “National Health Insurance” for international students

From July 2012, foreign residents who stay in Japan for more than three months  are required to enroll in National Health Insurance.

<Persons subject to this obligation>

Specifically, this is applicable to mid- or   long-term residents (those to whom Residence Card is issued)
Mid- or long- term residents (those to whom Residence Card is issued) are foreigners who stay in Japan with the resident status, excluding those whose stay period is determined as no longer than three months or for a short period, or those whose resident status is determined for diplomatic or official business purposes. Mid- or long-term residents are given a Residence Card  under the revised provisions of the Immigration Control Act  when they are granted permission related to residence such as landing permission.

<How to take procedures>

You can take procedures for the issue of the national health insurance certificate (card)by presenting your Residence Card or Alien Registration Card at the National Health Insurance Window of the public office of the city/ward/town/village with which you  registered your residence.
* For resident registration, visit :

<How and when to use National Health Insurance Card>

Every time you go to hospital/clinic, you must present the National Health Insurance Card.
When you take procedures for consultation with a doctor present it to the receptionist.

Medical expenses  covered by “National Health Insurance”

The insurance covers 70% of your medical expenses, so you will be required to pay 30% of the actually incurred expenses only for:

  • Ordinary medical examination; surgical operation; medical treatment
  • Prescribed drug
  • Expenses for corset and caster
  • Expenses for nursing care determined to be necessary by a doctor

Various health insurance programs are available in Japan. For details, visit the homepage of Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

HP of Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare ⇒

How to pay “National Health Insurance” premium

  1. A “Nohfusho (payment slip)”  is mailed to the address you registered when you took procedures for issuing Residence Card.
  2. Pay the amount specified in the payment slip in accordance with the following procedure:

    [Payment method]

The amount to be paid and due date are different depending on the local government of your residence.
If you pay annual premium  in lump sum with the payment slip, the premium is slightly discounted, so this payment method is recommended.

You can pay the insurance premium  with the payment slip at any of the following offices.

  • Public office of city/ward/town/village
  • Bank
  • Post office
  • Cashier of convenience stores